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Nijagal Betta Trek - A Fun filled 1

About Nijagal Betta:-
While driving on NH4 towards Tumkur, you will see lot of hills on 2 sides of the road. One is Nijagal Betta. It is a few kilometres after Dobbespet (after the Kamat highway hotel - driving from Bangalore) to your left. On top of hill, you will see ruins of temple, fort walls & Dargah.

History lies behind this fort in later half of the 18th Century saw a war between the Marathas, Hyder Ali and the British for power.

The Maratha empire, which was till then torn by internal strife suddenly reasserted itself under Madhava Rao I. The Maratha army under his leadership began an unstoppable, whirlwind expedition to wipe out Hyder Ali. Beginning with Adoni, Madhava Rao took Bellary, Kurnool, Devadurga, Rayadurga, Kolar, Bhairavgad (near Bangalore), Devarayanadurga (near Tumkur), and reached Nijagal, en route to his final destination, Srirangapatana, Hyder Ali’s capital.

The Nijagal fort was built at the tip of the rocky mountain. Nijagal resembled an enormous, rocky semicircle placed atop a mountain decked on all directions with gigantic, steep, slippery boulders, effectively sealing it off from any sort of assault. The altitude of the fort was beyond the reach of cannonfire. Physical scaling of the fort was scorched by pouring enormous amounts of boiling oil and water, and excreta from specially-constructed holes (typically) near the top of the fort to make ascent impossible. A Burj/Bateri (an oval-shaped construction made of stone, sand and mortar and served as a watch tower) had guards patrolling round the clock. A large, deep and wide fosse circumvented the base of the mountain and was sprinkled with thorns. Crocodiles were bred in the moat to add yet another layer of security. Besides, Nijagal was never in the danger of running out of water. Three fresh-water mountain streams–Rasa Siddara Done (Done=stream/pond), Kanchina Done, and Akka-Tangira Done –provided ample water supply. It was tough for enemies to conquer this fort.

Trip Outline:-
Started from Taj Vivanta by 6:40am with 7 more members on 4 bikes. In last 3 treks to Tumkur, there was change. 1st trek - we saw sunrise near base of hill, 2nd trek - we saw sunrise while driving @ Dabbaspet, this trek - start of event @ Bangalore only. It took nearly 1hr to reach Dabbaspet. We stopped at small hotel  had breakfast - Idly, Kara Bath & tea. Later, moved towards NIjagal Betta.

Reached the base of hill & parked our vehicles. Searching for shade to park the vehicles. Decided to drive bikes slight towards top on loose gravel. This made us to do gymnastics with 4 bikes. Every1 of us are slipping with bikes & couldn't stop it. Finally with help of Channa & Sangamesh, bikes were placed in nice place. We started trek by 8:30am & moving through the path.

If it rains, the path will become Red mud with loose gravel. We reached to place where we can see Shivagange clearly. Lot of boulders are there through out the way. Took pictures & moved towards top. We reached a small fort entrance of the hill.
Took nice group picture @ entrance & moved ahead. It lead to small way through the big fort walls on 2 sides. There was small Hanuman statue carved on big rock. Poojas is been done to this statue. Moved little ahead & saw nice view of NIjagal Betta hill. Mandapa, Big Rock (top of hill), Steps was looking good.
Took small break below the trees. We decided to go to Mandapa & later towards top of the hill. So, we took left through the trail & went towards Mandapa. Saw a nice Koneru (Greenish water) & Dargah beside it. We took lot of group pics sitting here.
After sometime, climbed small rock & moved to Mandapa. This was completely demolished one & excavated too. I think, people excavated it in search of gold below Lord statues. Here we had lot of photo-shoots nearly for 20 minutes. Sangamesh, Harish, Channa, Vinay & Shabeer climbing on boulders & posing for photos. Everyone busy in their own world - Posing, taking pictures. We noticed a rock which looks like Human face. Our folks didn't leave that also & took pictures with it.

After too many photos, we moved towards the top. For that, we need to descend half way, take left & follow the steps to top of hill. Followed the steps & reached top of the hill. Through out the way from base to top, we had nice fun which is unforgettable. Kept our bags aside & started enjoying Mother nature. Took lot of pictures @ top with different poses & styles.
Took pictures between boulders, later tried climbing on it. Sat on the fort wall & took pictures. Spent some time there relaxing. While taking group pictures, listened train sound. Ran towards other side of hill & saw train going. To surprise, 2 trains from opposite side were noticed through lens. Immediately took a shot after they crossed each other. It was nice view to see 2 trains crossing.
We roamed around the hill for sometime & relaxed in the shade. Photos are still going on from the time we reached top. As we have plenty of time, we want to cover one more place. Spoke with each other & 1 more trek is not possible as Shabeer needs to go to hometown again. So, we decided to go to Siddagange Mutt in Kyatsandra - 10kms far. As decided, we started descending from top of the hill & had a group picture beside boulders.
Descended the hill in 30 minutes & reached bike point. Due to sun effect, bikes are burning. Took bikes & moved towards Siddaganga Mutt. It took 15 mins to reach there. Parked our vehicles below banyan tree. Swamy aged 106 lives there & we saw him. Visited the temple @ Mutt.
Once it is done, we came to our bikes parking spot. Villagers are selling mangoes with Mirchi & Salt. We took 2 mangoes (Both Rs 10) and ate nicely. Literally we fought for mango pieces which was funny. After eating, started driving back to Bangalore. Without any pit-stop, we reached Bangalore by 4pm. Wished everyone bye bye & dispersed to homes.

Travel Guide:-
# Drive on Tumkur Road till Dabbaspet (50kms).
# After Kammat Uppahar (On left), you will see small entrance below railway track.
# Pass underneath it which goes to base of Nijagal betta
# Follow the trail through the electric poles which takes you to top

Thanks Giving:-
# Thanks to all making this trek fun filled one.
# Special Thanks to Harish. Without him, the trek wont be so good & funny

# Thanks to Sangamesh for making wonderful video out of pictures.
# Thanks to all Photographers for wonderful pictures.

Keep trekking & enjoy the mother nature.

Written By     : Chaitanya Kumar Adusumilli 
Main Blog      : Adusumilli 2 Nature
Date of event : 20th April, 2013
Place             : Dabbaspet
Video             : Trek Memories by Sangamesh

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